Be Really Careful Who You ACCEPT As A Client…

clientsOne of the most difficult things for most photographers to realize is how important it is to carefully select which prospective clients you are willing to end up working with, and which ones you should not accept as clients. This was one of the BIGGEST discoveries of my photography career!

The fact is that not everyone with a pulse is a good, perspective client for you. Not in today's world!

Now, I understand that this is extremely scary - especially if you're not making the kind of money you want to make, and don't have the number of clients you want to have. But this is really important to your ultimate success with your photography business.

You see, some prospects will end up being great, profitable, fun to work with clients, while others will end up driving you crazy, taking a huge amount of your time, wanting everything for nothing, and never being happy.

So how do you figure out in advance which clients are going to be good to work with, and which clients you do not want to work with?

Just ask them the right questions. Here's my three favorite questions to find out if a prospect warrants moving forward:

1. "How important are these photographs to you?"

The answer to this question will give you a very good indication of whether or not this prospect is going to turn into a good client who appreciates what you create and is willing to invest good money for it.

2. "What's most important to you about these photographs?"

This is what I call the "magic question". I call it that because, if you listen carefully to the answers, it's truly magical - because it will inform you of exactly what is most important to that prospect about these photographs, and let you know if this prospect will end up being a good client.

3. "How long has it been since you had a really nice, high-quality portrait created?"

The answer to this question will give you an excellent indication of whether or not this prospect is a good perspective client of yours. For example she may say, "Oh, we do this every six months and I thought I'd give you a call to see how much you cost. This isn't really all that important to me." Then you get a good indication that this may not be a terrific client to work with.

Again I say, I know this sounds scary. I understand what it's like to need the money and need the clients - I've been there. But please hear me: if you don't start being picky about who you work with, you will end up working yourself to death, burning out, and ending up quitting photography because you can't make enough money at it and you're too tired to continue.

From this day forward, stop trying to book every single prospect you speak with – and instead start "interviewing" each person to see if they "qualify" to become a client of yours by asking the right questions.

So what do you do next? Start by spending more time on this blog. Use the search bar to search on keywords that you are most interested in to help you build the photography business of your dreams.

You may also join my Inner Circle where you will have access to my "Telecharts" which have ALL the amazing questions we ask prospects - plus you have unlimited access to ALL the specific tools, templates & techniques of exactly how to build the photography business of your dreams and still have the free time to spend with your loved ones and build a lifestyle you have always wanted. It will be my honor to help you move more closely to what you desire.

I hope you found this tip helpful, and I’ll have another one for you very soon!

Charles J. Lewis
M. Photog., Cr.




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6 Responses to Be Really Careful Who You ACCEPT As A Client…

  1. Deb
    January 8, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    I agree with you completely. I have been in business for 5.5 years and have learned A LOT along the way. What I struggle with is how to ask these questions in a way that seems natural, non-threatening and conversational. I wish I could listen in on how you “interview” your prospective clients.

    • February 18, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Hi Deb,
      Great point! That is very important. Actually, by becoming a member of my “Inner Circle” – you have access to recordings of many role plays, so you can hear exactly how we do it so that the questions are received in a very positive light. Info here: Enjoy!

  2. January 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    These are always great questions to ask. Also a pre-portrait consultation is very beneficial. She may feel the portraits are very important but has different ideas as to what she wants and what you’re willing to do.

    I recently had a consultation with a woman who wanted the files on a disc. I explained to her my policies and why the images on a disc was probably not the best way to have a portrait she would appreciate and see every day. After all was done she turned out to be a very good client and she did not receive a disc with the images.

    Don’t be in a hurry to dismiss a potential client from the initial call. Ask the questions and if you feel there is probability, take the time to meet with her. A pre-portrait consultation is very valuable, don’t miss this step.

    • February 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Gregg! Great to hear from you, and yes, for sure, by asking these questions, we can get a great idea if this client will be a “good fit” for your photography business.

      All the best to you!


  3. January 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    The corollary to these tips (which are great!) is how to say no diplomatically. However much you might like to say NFW, there IS a better way. What are your top 3 Chuck?

    • February 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Larry! Actually, I usually say basically the same thing to each client who I don’t feel will be a “good fit” for your services. “You know, I’m not sure we are the right photographer for you, I would suggest you keep looking, and see if you can find a photographer who you feel will be a better fit for you. And if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call back. We’re always happy to be of help in any way we can.”

      Hope this helps,


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